Timing of Ptosis Correction Surgery on Newborn

I am a mother of a newborn. My son who is only 13 days old today is diagnosed with congenital Ptosis at his right eye. He does not open it or only opens 1/3 or 1/2 of it. Our Dr. told us this needs surgery within the first 6 weeks of his age otherwise he will suffer vision damage. We are very concerned about surgery on such a young baby with general anesthesia and would really like to hear other opinions regarding the timing of this surgery. Your input is very much appreciated!

Doctor Answers 5

Correction Surgery on Newborn

Do not delay in getting your newborn evaluated by an expert pediatric ophthalmologist. As scary as it can be to have to subject your infant to surgery, it is necessary to maintain vision and eye health.


Fayetteville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

Surgery for newborn ptosis must be soon or vision loss will occur!

Congratulations on your new baby! Of course we all are rightfully concerned when surgery is needed or recommended for such a tiny person. But your advice is correct--if the eyelid position does not allow moving and colorful images to be seen and sent to the brain, the developing brain "learns" that this lack of visual stimulus should be "shut off" and a perfectly formed and otherwise functional eye becomes effectively "brain-blind." The medical term for this condition is "deprivation amblyopia." Click on the link below for more information.

Seek a pediatric ophthalmologist who can evaluate your newborn and proceed before vision loss is caused. Good luck and best wishes!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

Immediate action is needed.

I would recommend that you have your baby assessed at a University based department of ophthalmology.  The specialist that you need is a pediatric ophthalmologist.  They do the bulk of ptosis surgery in children this age.  It is ideal if the care can be provided a children's hospital.  However a busy university based hospital will have pediatric anesthesiologists who work with the pediatric ophthalmologist.  You did not say if your doctor was a pediatric ophthalmologist but this is the place to start.  Yes visual development is the immediate concern at this age.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Severe congentital ptosis

Severe congenital ptosis, not being able to open the eye 1/3 to 1/2 in a child under 7 years is a sight threatening condition! Follow your doctors advice to help save your child's vision and find a surgeon skilled in treating this condition.

Good luck!

John H. Hunts MD, PhD
Eugene Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Timing of Ptosis Correction Surgery on Newborn

Please obtain expert in person consultations. Time is of the essence in this case, do not delay, PLEASE. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.